- Date 8 Oct 2021
On Wednesday 6 October, IoD Chief Operating Officer and Board member Esther Teeken addressed the Standard Bank Top Women Global Virtual Summit, discussing the challenge of getting more women on boards and how the Institute of Directors is using its influence to make this happen.
Read her speech below:
Women all over the world face a challenge when it comes to reaching board room positions.
Women are missing opportunities to develop their board credentials during their careers, frequently lacking senior sponsorship or mentoring, so are not recognised as board potential.
Women often can’t rise to the board level because they’ve been denied opportunities earlier in their careers. Sitting on a board requires management experience, and biases often keep women in lower-level positions.
A lack of self-confidence among women and a hesitation to pursue executive level jobs also causes both men and women to question the abilities and dedication of female employees.
Women also have to deal with societal expectations and popular culture which reinforces the stereotypes of women as homemakers and men as leaders.
Finally women can feel uncomfortable doing the networking required to achieve boardroom spots, which is often male-dominated.
As a result of all of these challenges, the pipeline of women qualified for board positions is relatively small.